Premier Badminton League 2018: HS Prannoy becomes the costliest buy; Saina Nehwal, PV Sindhu retained
When the Ahmedabad Smash Masters bought Indian shuttler HS Prannoy for a whopping Rs. 62 lakhs in the Premier Badminton League (PBL) 2018 players’ auction in Hyderabad on Tuesday, he became the costliest player for the upcoming season. Meanwhile, PV Sindhu, Saina Nehwal and Kidambi Srikanth were retained by their respective franchises.
It was an intense battle between the Mumbai Rockets and the Ahmedabad Smash Masters to secure the services of Prannoy. In the end, the Mumbai franchise realised that the Ahmedabad franchise was not going to back out at any cost and consequently, gave up the battle. The eventual cost of Rs 62 lakhs meant a mammoth increment (nearly 250 percent) for the young shuttler.
Prannoy will have a very able partner in women's World No. 1 Tai Tzu Ying, who was bought by Ahmedabad for Rs. 52 lakhs. Tzu Ying will be making her debut in the league this year.
Among the other top international players, men’s world champion and World No. 1 Viktor Axelsen of Denmark was bought by his old team Bengaluru Blasters for Rs. 50 lakhs. On the other hand, the Delhi Acers picked up both World No. 2 Son Wan Ho and women's World No. 5 Sung Ji Hyun for Rs. 50 lakhs each. Olympic gold medallist Carolina Marin was retained by her old team, the Hyderabad Hunters, for a base price of Rs. 50 lakhs.
Also read: PBL 2018 auction: As it happened
How Saina, Sindhu and Srikanth got a hike
According to the rules, any retained player is entitled to a 25% hike in his/her salary from the previous year. The players who are retained using the ‘Right-To-Match’ card are entitled to a 10% increase from the last year's selling price.
This meant that Srikanth, Sindhu and Nehwal, all of whom were retained by their respective teams, cost Rs. 56 lakhs, Rs. 48.75 lakhs and Rs. 41.25 lakhs respectively.
Srikanth, who has recently regained his form and even won back-to-back Superseries titles in Indonesia and Australia, was acquired by his old team Awadhe Warriors through the 'Right-To-Match' card.
Olympic and World Championship silver medallist Sindhu, who clinched the Korea Open Superseries last month, had commanded Rs. 39 lakhs during the last auction while Nehwal had fetched Rs. 33 lakhs. Both were retained by their respective teams, the Chennai Smashers and the Awadhe Warriors.
Among the other Indian players, Ajay Jayaram was bought for Rs 44 lakhs by the North East Warriors while Parupalli Kashyap went to the Awadhe Warriors for Rs 20 lakhs.